Big Ben, London | Grzegorz Mleczek

I want to be brave

I consider myself brave, but I don’t know if that’s entirely true. There are too many things that I hold back from doing to be truly brave.

If I were brave, I would take chances when I don’t know the outcome. Or I wouldn’t hold myself back from doing something I want to do just because it’s not an ideal situation. Or because I’m not sure about cost. Or because I’m worried. Or because I’d probably be doing this alone. Or any number of other things.

Sometimes I play around on Google Flights. I found a really good flight deal to London for several dates this fall. I hesitated. Could I buy a flight, go to London, plan a trip? Could I do this on my own? Do I have enough money, vacation time, will to do this?

Other people travel all the time. I see my friends on Snapchat, instagram, Facebook – traveling alone, visiting a place for a second (or third) time. And every time I ask myself, why aren’t I doing this? Why am I stuck in a rut? Why haven’t I been out of the country in years? Why can’t I even just take a long weekend and drive to Canada and eat some food and relax and enjoy myself in a new place?

I don’t know the answer.

I spend so much time telling myself to do these things and not any time actually doing them. Last I checked, the cheap flights I saw were gone. That means that my thought-planning, my made-up itinerary of landing in London, spending 2 days enjoying a museum, the British Library, made a play before taking the train to the Lake District where I would stay in a nice B&B and walk and hike and write for a few days by myself don’t mean anything at all.

If I hadn’t second-guessed myself or worried about how much money that is (I have the money, just sitting there, being “saved” for something in the future, something exactly like this) or worry is the week I picked was good or if I should see if anyone wants to go with me, maybe I could be going to England this fall.

For a moment I thought that maybe this has nothing to do with bravery.

Then I double-checked the definition of the word: Bravery is about facing adversity or fear. At first glance, there’s no fear here. But then I re-read what I wrote. Worry and anxiety are a part of being afraid. Being afraid doesn’t have to be the dark or spiders or someone hiding behind the shower curtain waiting for me to go into the bathroom in the middle of the night.

There’s a small amount of fear involved here. Fear of traveling alone, fear of making the wrong decision, fear of spending too much money. Fear of spontaneity. I always answer those personality quizzes that are if you are spontaneous with a yes, but I’m clearly not. If I was, I wouldn’t have let those plane tickets go away.

But I want to be brave. I want to be spontaneous. I want to dig out my credit card and buy those plane tickets the next time I see them pop up on the cheap because that’s who I want to be. Now I just have to work on being that person.

3 Comments

  1. You can do it, girl! I travel alone once a year. It’s nice traveling by yourself; you don’t have to rely on and wait on anyone. You can just get up and go! Oh, but if you plan on going to Canada, let me know! I’d love to do that too.

    Reply

    1. If I plan on Canada, I will definitely let you know! It would be easy to just drive to Toronto, but I’ve also been eyeing Montreal lately. 🙂

      Reply

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